After pleading not guilty by reason of insanity, a jury has now found former Marine Eddie Ray Routh guilty of murder and he has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Does it make a difference that members of the jury watched American Sniper before they reached their verdict?
That the film [amazon text=American Sniper&asin=0062238868] is propaganda cannot be really be argued. Even Scientific American admits this. It’s rewriting of the Iraq war into a black and white, American right versus Iraqi wrong and portrayal of Chris Kyle as nothing less than a simple hero is obvious to anyone paying attention for more than five minutes.
Then again, large swaths of the American population are taking this Hollywood production as fact.
Now it has come to light that jurors watched the film about Chris Kyle before serving. ABC News reported:
Now, it has been revealed that several members of the jury saw the movie before being selected to serve on the trial, but they maintain that it did not interfere with their ability to fairly judge accused killer Eddie Ray Routh.
Routh was found guilty on Tuesday night of the capital murders of Chris Kyle and Kyle’s friend Chad Littlefield and now faces life in prison.
Juror Barrett Hutchinson told ABC News today the questionnaire “specifically asked … could you put [your views on the film] to the wayside and make a fair and impartial judgment based on only the facts presented? And me personally, that’s one of the things I processed and told myself I could do.”
“I laid it out on the questionnaire, told them my thoughts on it and in the end, they picked me for a juror,” he said.
Fellow juror Stephanie Templeton said that the movie was “awesome” but didn’t have any direct connection to the case.
“It was basically a movie through the eyes of the sniper and his family, and it really didn’t have anything to do with Mr. Routh or the killings,” Templeton told ABC News. “I mean the screen went black and you saw the procession. It didn’t have any information about the capital murder case that we served on.”
But Routh was only portrayed in the film for a few moments, so it’s okay?
The film itself makes a difference too, Dimitrius said, and since an actor portraying Routh is only shown briefly at the end of the film, with no further depiction of the murder or their interaction, that likely lessened the attorneys’ concern.
Does it make a difference that the supposedly impartial, unbiased jury members watched a propaganda film about Chris Kyle’s life and death before serving on his accused killer’s trial?
Guess it is a good thing Kyle’s wife called Clint Eastwood and had the gory death scene they wrote for Kyle’s shooting removed from the film.
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